The University of Cologne has an unusual history: It was founded – for the second time – by the city council in 1919, more than 100 years after its predecessor institution, established in 1388, had been dissolved. Even as WWI was still being fought, the new university that had grown out of the Cologne Business School set up in 1901 was taking shape. As an institution, it combined theory, practice and social research and was formed in a spirit of progress and republicanism.
But what paths did the university take after these beginnings? How did the Nazi regime, the establishment of the West German state, the 1968 student protests and the beginnings of what we now like to call globalisation affect it? Who were the people who left their mark on the institution and what were the critical decisions that were made? What was it like being a student in Cologne in different eras, and what was the relationship between the university, the city and its people?
This book aims to present a rich, panoramic view of the university’s history stitched together from texts, biographies, images and objects. Together, they produce a vivid image of the continuities and transformations that shaped the University of Cologne from 1919 well into the 21st Century. This century has been a success story so far for the university: state-of-the-art teaching methods, a broad spectrum of disciplines and subjects, excellence in research and a very international outlook have made it a beacon of knowledge.
The volume will be published on behalf of the Rector to mark this year’s 100th anniversary of the University of Cologne’s re-establishment. It was conceived and edited by Habbo Knoch, Ralph Jessen and Hans Peter Ullmann. All three are professors at the university’s History Department and have been leading a research project into the history of the new university since 2016. A board of experts made up of members of all of the university’s departments guided the book’s production.
The chronicle was researched and written in close cooperation with the project coordinators by the Cologne-based history agency Reder, Roeseing & Prüfer.
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